Mathematics Intent and Implementation
Here at Grade Ruan we understand the importance of a secure understanding in mathematics. A good understanding of maths opens so many doors and opportunities for our children, and is a part of the basis of our very society from a fundamental understanding of money and time, to more complex applications in the man-made structures in the world around us, and even in the very core of nature itself. The core concepts of maths contain a basic set of skills which we aim to embed in our children so that they become second nature. Developing fluency in this declarative knowledge opens up a whole new world of problem solving and mastery for the children to explore.
When considering our school vision statement, we view fluency in the core concepts of maths the anchor which grounds the children's knowledge. They need this fluency embedded in order to set sail on their mathematical journey, taking on procedural knowledge which will allow them to reason and apply their understanding, supporting them in navigating their way through problem solving tasks and giving them the ability to show the wisdom of Jesus, calming any storms along their way. On their mathematical journey children are encouraged to practice their core Christian values having high aspirations, working together and building strong relationships, showing respect for each other and valuing each other's ideas and inputs. Key skills such as perseverance and resilience also provide our children with a strong sense of tenacity which they can apply to other areas of the curriculum and life.
Our maths journey starts in the Foundation Stage where teaching and learning follows the Early learning goals, taught under the umbrella of our unique Early Years Curriculum. Teaching and learning takes place in practical contexts and uses mathematical resources, manipulatives and images as well as real life objects. For example children may use non-standard units of measurement such as ‘bricks’ when planning how wide to build their outdoor shelter to protect them from the ‘Big Bad Wolf’. This may evolve into making their own 'brick' number line, adding the dimensions of spacing and numerical representation. This provides the concrete foundations on which to build and introduce the more pictoral and abstract learning. Maths is taken at a steady pace in order to really explore numbers in depth and embed a deep and secure understanding of number. Daily adult led maths sessions take place which are supported by a rich environment of maths in the continuous provision allowing children to further explore concepts taught to them. Children are also introduced to Numbots, a fun online way of exploring simple addition and subtraction which slowly builds on speedy recall and fluency of numbers facts.
In KS2, fluency is further developed through short 10 minute bursts of daily rehearsal. Children work their way through ‘nifty numbers’ questions using all 4 operations at a level which is personal to their current learning needs. Children also move on from Numbots to focus more on speedy recall and rehearsal of times table’s facts using TT rock stars. Children are challenged through avatars, battles and games to encourage quick recall of multiplications and their inverse operations.
We aim for the teaching of maths to be enjoyable, practical and relevant. Therefore as teaching and learning progresses into KS1 and 2, where possible we base lessons in ‘real life’ contexts in order for children to ground their learning and understand the importance of application. Maths is taught daily following objectives taken from Hamilton which are designed to build on existing skills and further deepen their knowledge and understanding. Although our classes are mixed age, this means we are able to teach directly to each year group and ensure we have a progressive approach to teaching and learning which builds on previous skills. Planning resources from NCETM and Nrich are also used to support depth of learning. We have maths working walls in each classroom which give children clear ‘steps to success’ to support them with specific strategies, as well as examples, models and images to support recent learning. We embrace mistakes made in maths as opportunities for learning and building resilience. Examples of ‘marvellous mistakes’ can often be found displayed on our learning walls and ‘purple polishing’ can be seen in maths books where children have returned to a piece of work to make corrections.
When it comes to deepening children’s understanding, discussion and explanation is at the core of our mathematics curriculum. Staff model mathematical vocabulary and use of mathematical sentence stems. Children then use these sentence stems and vocabulary when responding to adult input and when discussing their methods and explaining their strategies to their peers.
By the time children leave us here at Grade Ruan we aim for them to have fluency in number facts, have the skills needed to manipulate these facts in different contexts, be able to identify mathematical patterns and relationships and be able to apply appropriate methods and strategies to problem solving. Above all, whilst using these skills we aim for them to be confident communicators who can discuss their understanding with their peers and other adults alike.